Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Dispatachable Energy -- The Demand Is Growing -- August 9, 2016

This is incredibly cool. For years I was talking about the downside of wind and solar energy. I kept missing one big story line and a reader kept hitting me over the head -- reminding me of the story line. I finally got the "clue bug" some months ago.

The story line: dispatchable. That "word" is seldom (never?) used by wind and solar advocates; and, I doubt most Americans even understand the concept. I understand it but missed the importance of the issue until recently.

It appears that the authors of the article at Rigzone realized that, also. Look at that article. Except for the opening line, there is only one word put in bold.


And then get this. Just as the central planners at federal governments around the world are mandating increased wind and solar energy, "demand for dispatchable electricity generation is growing."

In an environment where demand for dispatchable electricity generation is growing, the last thing one wants is more solar and wind energy, neither of which solve the problem. Ironically, investors in natural gas should embrace this new-found interest in wind and energy.

Every time another wind or solar energy project comes on line, another natural gas back-up plant needs to be in place to back up the non-dispatchable energy project.

I've long given up on voicing irritation with wind and solar -- I'm preaching to the choir, and I can't do anything about it anyway. The public has spoken: they want more wind and solar -- or at least their elected representatives do.

But, for investors, a win-win on so many levels.

From the linked article:
Thanks to shifting demand patterns, suppliers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from producing countries such as the U.S. and Australia increasingly will need to look for new homes for LNG beyond traditional major destinations such as Japan and South Korea.

The expansion of the global LNG trade, coupled with growing demand for dispatchable electricity generation, translates into increased opportunities for natural gas storage operators. Gas storage players will need to develop an increasingly customized slate of products and services for existing and future customers, who are demanding more flexibility and becoming more cost-sensitive.

The [natural gas storage] sector was built over decades to serve a very predictable and entrenched market condition: moving gas from North American production zones (south and west) to consuming areas in the eastern markets that generally have strong winter peak demand.

The nature of the new production [in the northeast US] is high initial deliverability with long, flat production.

The new production profile facilitates "an almost instantaneous deliverability. Consequently, it helps offset and reduces seasonal supply variations from production, making the market slightly less volatile to supply shortfalls.

The near-instantaneous deliverability of natural gas upsets the decades-old structure of the storage market and makes some assets more valuable than others.

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